Do Israeli courts have jurisdiction over child support if the father (ex-husband) lives outside Israel ? When I divorced no decision was made through the Israeli courts about child support. I would just give my 'ex' money for this. Then I relocated abroad permanently, she cut off contact, and I stopped paying . It's been over a year and she just e-mailed me telling me to pay her child support. She is remarried, living in Israel. Am I liable for child support?

Yes, Israeli courts have jurisdiction over child support concerning a minor living in Israel with the custodial parent. Israeli law adopts the principles of private international law, whereby a child support claim should generally be filed in the country where the child is living and his/her needs are to be met and can be assessed and decided upon by the court. Therefore , if your ex-wife wishes to take action against you in Israel for child maintenace, she could initiate legal proceedings against you at the Israeli family court, and request permission to serve you with the papers abroad . Normally, liability starts from the date proceedings are filed in court, though back maintenance can be claimed , in certain circumstances. If maintenance is set by court and is not paid, it gains interest, and a file can be opened against you at the collection and enforcement office (“the Bailiff’s”) to recover the debt. It is possible to avoid this situation by negotiating an agreement about child support (and also contact with your child/ren), which can be authorized at the family court in Israel, without you having to attend a hearing, if you are represented by counsel in Israel. This would mean that you could enter Israel freely without the risk of action being taken against you for a maintenance debt and see you child/ren in Israel, and possibly,overseas,too. This would be win-win situation for all concerned.